Team Cigar Review: Epic Smoking Shields

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Cigar Details: Epic Smoking Shields

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
  • Factory: Charles Fairmorn
  • Blender: Dean Parsons
  • Price: $15.00
  • Release Date: November 2016
  • Source: Epic

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a marbled dark brown with a few raised veins present. The seams are easy to see as they are slightly raised as well as due to the color variation of the wrapper. The head is finished off with what appears to be a single cap. There are two bands with the lower of the two bands being the traditional Epic band and the top one consisting of the Smoking Shields New York organization logo. The aroma from the wrapper is just a faint wood while the foot brings a fuller wood, leather and light white pepper. The pre-light draw is a fairly sweet and light hay note.

Pre-light Experience

The Epic Smoking Shields has a very thick and hearty near oscuro wrapper shade. Bunch and roll is uniform, veins neatly pressed, seams tight and head finished off with a well adhered double cap. Aromas from the wrapper give cedar and white pepper. Aromas from the foot tell white pepper and dried nuts. Cold draw gives hay, cedar and white pepper.

First Third

Things start out with a mix of slightly dark wood and some black pepper. At a half inch in, the retrohale is providing a fuller experience of the wood and pepper than what is present in the mouth draws.At an inch in, a slight creaminess has paired up with the pepper to tone it down a bit while the slightly dark wood is slightly up front. At an inch and a half, the cream now spans both the wood and the pepper to create a smooth overall profile. As the third comes to a close, the wood now has become more defined as oak as it is up front while the pepper is fairly subtle now. The retrohale is also very oaky. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third from first draw shows consistent flavors of leather, creamed sweetness, earth and minerals. Retrohaling brings a very distinct naturally creamy nuttiness and white pepper. The finish is all earth with lingering dry oak and tapered white pepper. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the profile is very much creamy oak with a slight creamy pepper in the background. At a half inch in, a slight toasty note joins the creamy oak. At three quarters of an inch, the black pepper picks back up again and that is also the case for the retrohale. At an inch and a half, the toast note is slightly hanging on with the creamy oak combination while the pepper is not too far in the background. As the third comes to a close, the cream drops almost completely out of the profile as the oak is far up front and a slight pepper remains in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third’s profile drops a notch in flavor boldness but becomes a better melded formula. The notes are pretty much still the same with leather, creamed sweetness, nuts, earth, minerals and tamed white pepper. The strength and body is still medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a slight bitterness joins in with the oak, while a faint black pepper is still in the background. At a half inch in, the cigar begins to heat up a bit which brings a slight bite to the oak. The cream also makes a return to the profile. This same profile is also present on the retrohale. The profile the rest of the way was this same oak with a slight bite along with some cream and faint pepper. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

The last third still keeps the same flavors but the profile has pockets in which sweetness prevails. The sweetness in the sense of creamed nuttiness is a welcome break from perhaps making the profile too earthy. Retrohaling brings that sweetness out some more. The strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was very straight, there was just an issue in the middle third where the cigar went out once and seemed to struggle to stay lit. This caused me to have to take frequent draws for a half inch or so, but once past that, things were back to normal.

Burn

Nothing but the best for burn performance. Even burn, cool burning temperature, solid ashes and great smoke production.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t seem to cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

Oak was the primary player along with cream and black pepper. There was an interesting transition where the pepper became very mellow at the end of the first third and then ramped back up around the midpoint of the cigar. Strength started medium and finished medium-full while construction was very good. I enjoy a fair amount of the Epic lines and while this doesn’t make it to the top tier, it’s still a good cigar. I would recommend this for those that like stronger cigars as by the end, it could make your head spin if you’re not careful. A cigar supporting those that wear the badge is a great tribute, although pricey, and this is one that I think is worth tracking down if the flavor profile is one that fits your wheelhouse.

Aaron
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Good
Good Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Good
Very Good Burn Amazing
Very Good Draw Amazing
Good Overall Good

Draw

The ideal draw providing the perfect air flow.

Overall

I classify the Epic Smoking Shields as no frills, no thrills, just a good cigar. The flavors itself hit all the major components of a tasty cigar but there wasn’t any particular flavor(s) that makes you hone in and rave about it. Completely fine as a good cigar is a good cigar, no ifs or buts about that. If you’re looking for a cigar that will give you great creaminess, sweetness, earth and tamed spice, this is exactly it.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

$2.25

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.33

Cost/Point

$2.05

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Epic Smoking Shields
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Epic Smoking Shields

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